Would a watch by every other identify nonetheless tick and tock? Would our ardour for mechanisms, design, and craftsmanship sputter and die if the phrase have been a distinct one? Would the inherent qualities of a timepiece stop to exist if it was known as a “schpoogelmuffer”?
Properly, it is potential, and essentially we will by no means understand how the world would really feel about haute schpoogelmuffology even when it was a factor.
However what we will know is how names matter as soon as they’re established and the way altering a reputation, and even showing to vary a reputation, can dramatically shift public notion. Oh, the general public: a fickle mistress of illogical selections and rash conclusions, how they torment everybody in advertising!
Within the enterprise world, altering a reputation has not at all times gone effectively; whether or not it’s a product or the whole firm identification, it’s clear that individuals don’t like change. The latest instance is IHOP, which in some way determined identify change was so as, however sheepishly thought “nothing too drastic.” The restaurant chain modified its identify from the Worldwide House of Pancakes (IHOP) to the Worldwide Home of . . . look ahead to it . . . Burgers (IHOB).
The general public, confounded, confused and upset, rightly ridiculed the corporate for lazily making an attempt to rebrand itself to attract consideration to its burger and different choices. Burgers aren’t actually a breakfast meals, so the change didn’t resonate with diners and it ruined the graphics of the emblem in order that needed to be redesigned as effectively.
Initially the O and P of IHOP had a crimson semicircle beneath to create a smiling face, with the descender of the P performing because the nostril. That was intelligent, rivaling Amazon and FedEx for refined but clear and particular graphic design. Now the emblem is muddled because the lowercase p turns into b, the right refined face is misplaced.
As dangerous because the IHOP identify change went within the public eye (it was modified again after a month, seems it was additionally a PR stunt), some identify adjustments work splendidly – like Apple Laptop dropping the “Laptop” half when it launched the iPhone, signaling that it knew computer systems would change into a smaller and smaller proportion of its enterprise (which has in the end change into true).
The important thing level to remove is that identify adjustments ought to be thought-about within the context of name recognition and the importance worth in brand-name longevity. Typically, manufacturers department off and add to the identify with a complimentary line, like Dodge making Ram Vans its personal firm and Netflix separating the streaming providers from the house DVD supply service (which failed and was scrapped).
Within the watch business, this occurs as effectively: Baume & Mercier spun off entry-level watches into Baume in 2018, and, maybe most famously, Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf created Montres Tudor SA because the reasonably priced child brother of Rolex in 1946.
Typically the spinoff isn’t as absolutely fleshed out, and a brand new line from a model represents a take a look at of the waters for a distinct course. This occurred at Baselworld 2018 when younger boutique model Akrivia launched its Chronomètre Contemporain, the very first timepiece within the Rexhep Rexhepi Assortment.
The gathering is a dramatic shift from the usual Akrivia fare (which is way from normal), a quasi-signature assortment that gives a way more basic possibility for followers of the model. Truthfully, it’s fairly regular in my eyes that Rexhep Rexhepi would need his identify on his watches, and so making a line with that looks like a logical step.
It is just as a result of the watch seems to be so totally different from earlier fashions and lacks the Akrivia emblem on the dial which may lead some to fret that Akrivia is switching gears. In that case that might certainly confuse potential prospects.
Cha, cha, cha, adjustments . . .
The brand new Chronomètre Contemporain from Akrivia is a unbelievable design and a candy thought contemplating the model is comparatively new (although celebrating its sixth anniversary with the latest launch) and continues to be constructing identify recognition. Akrivia is thought largely to observe nerds, and the model’s success, I assume, is predicated on true appreciation for what Rexhep and his brother Xhevdet create.
And as its social media attain expands, increasingly more persons are introduced into the know.
The brand new Rexhep Rexhepi assortment goes to assist with that, as it doesn’t matter what there are many individuals that can move by a “regular” Akrivia piece with out a lot as a second look just because it isn’t their cup of tea.
So this new assortment isn’t a change within the enterprise course per se, it’s really an growth to hopefully attain new markets, new purchasers, and probably generate new publicity. A shift like this after 20 years would possibly really be dangerous, however after six it simply feels calculated.
The inspiration got here from Rexhep himself (no shock there) as he has at all times had a fascination with and love for officer’s watches from the 1940s. The Chronomètre Contemporain is an interpretation of those watches with an Akrivia slant and motion, which makes it just a bit totally different. It doesn’t remind you of the Akrivia we have now come to like, however in case you have ever had the chance to speak with Rexhep, it does mesh with who he’s as an individual.
Akrivia Chronomètre Contemporain
The watch is an easy three-hander with a big seconds subdial at 6 o’clock designed in an Artwork Deco-inspired asymmetrical format. The hour indications embrace 5 Roman numerals framed by alternating half home windows linked across the dial periphery.
The design continues contained in the subdial, however as a substitute of a Roman numeral there’s a tiny “Swiss Made” indication. This retains the within of the subdial from being too busy and ensures visible continuity across the dial.
The subdial is somewhat massive, squeezing between the central employees for the hour and minute palms and the sting of the minute monitor. The design of the subdial takes precedence because the bigger dial design options are lower away by the subdial form with one refined however key exception, the 30-minute hash mark doubles because the 30-second hash mark of the subdial, tying the 2 designs collectively within the smallest of how.
As acknowledged earlier than, the identify Akrivia is absent from the dial, however this makes design sense when contemplating all the main points.
All earlier Akrivia watches have had the identify engraved on some utilized plaque or window construction with no printing ever showing on the handmade dials. For the reason that Chronomètre Contemporain has a pad-printed dial, the addition of “Akrivia” would have been odd and never in step with the design language of the piece.
After all, a flat graphical identify may have appeared however for the reason that level of the piece is extra of a signature watch, one thing akin to a basic Patek Philippe (or the Rexhepi brothers’ personal Pièce Ecole watches), the identify Akrivia was left off in favor of “Rexhep Rexhepi” in a basic serif font.
Beneath the identify is the phrase “chronometre,” and it’s there not simply because this entire timepiece is based on the thought of basic chronometer watches, however as a result of the Caliber RR-01 inside might be licensed by the Besançon Observatory on request, the place it can acquire a Bulletin de marche de chronométrie certifying that it met ISO 3159 requirements after a 16-day take a look at interval.
That is the primary true chronometer supplied by Akrivia and its classicalness can’t be denied.
Mechanical awesomeness in a simplified package deal
Caliber RR-01 can be no mere time-only chronometer-grade motion because it incorporates a hefty 100-hour energy reserve from a single barrel and a stop-seconds/zero-reset mechanism for exact time setting.
When the crown is pulled the reset mechanism, which capabilities equally to the “all-or-nothing” activation mechanism utilized in grande sonneries to forestall partial activation, stops the steadiness and returns the second hand to zero utilizing a coronary heart cam whereas the time is ready. A dual-wing spring part ensures that each actions occur concurrently and absolutely, guaranteeing excellent setting each time.
The motion seems to be somewhat easy, however the execution is totally high notch and the ending is excellent, sharing the standard Akrivia particulars like sharp inside angles on the bevels, black sharpening, and exact particulars at each flip. The motion is by far essentially the most acquainted Akrivia characteristic because it shares design language with earlier actions discovered within the extra futuristically styled items.
However this brings us again to the danger that Akrivia has taken: designing a watch that doesn’t appear like the acquainted Akrivia. The basic styling, sizing (all the way down to 38 mm from the boutique model’s normal 43), and branding has departed sharply from the standard Akrivia choices. After all many have been completely satisfied to see the brand new possibility coming from the model whereas others who love the Akrivia idea felt it simply belonged to a distinct model.
To that I say, why does a model want to remain precisely the place it began from – and even near it? I’ve tons of concepts for watches, and if I have been to start out a model and make all my concepts, they wouldn’t share a lot DNA from one piece to the subsequent.
A tough enterprise
I discover that new manufacturers (no less than the nice ones) typically fall into certainly one of 4 classes.
First, there’s the model that began with one nice thought and had no actual plan to develop something additional moreover variations on the preliminary idea. Type of like a one-hit surprise within the music business, the model was constructed round a watch design thought and never a completely fashioned model thought. Nothing mistaken with it, but it surely has the potential to fade rapidly. A major instance is the 4N watch – see an instance in Give Me Five! Sapphire Crystal Cases At Baselworld 2016 – superb timepiece, however a full model it was not.
Subsequent, you could have the model that begins as a result of it desires to create watches in a selected fashion or style: diving watches, chiming watches, tourbillon watches, or regardless of the wishes dictate. These manufacturers normally have a number of choices inside their self-appointed areas and but even have the liberty to maneuver exterior this slim focus, although they normally stick with a tried-and-true type issue. A fantastic instance is Ressence, because the preliminary thought was a couple of approach of interacting with a watch, which has supplied a number of avenues for exploration.
Then there’s the model that wishes to create watches exterior the norm, do issues a bit in a different way, and permits itself a large amount of design freedom. Manufacturers like MB&F, Hautlence, Urwerk, and their contemporaries show what number of methods this technique might be carried out. And when completed in a savvy method, the model can have actual endurance so long as the market has a spot for it.
After which there are watchmaker manufacturers, the place the need to make top-quality watches with attention-grabbing or sophisticated mechanisms takes middle stage. The manufacturers develop organically out of concepts and designs the makers resolve to develop. Andreas Strehler, Kari Voutilainen, and Akrivia fall into this class, and every finds its personal path ahead in terms of what to make. These kinds of manufacturers even have a few of the most passionate followers, who outline model identification with the primary watch or watches produced.
This implies it’s simple for these manufacturers (and in reality, all manufacturers) to change into caught in a single design idea or language with out the flexibility to do something totally different on the danger of offending followers and, extra importantly, purchasers. It takes guts, ardour, and a real perception in what you might be creating to deviate from what has introduced you success and take a look at one thing new.
Small manufacturers technically gamble with their livelihoods when creating one thing fully totally different. Akrivia has simply proven that it desires to take that danger.
After all I’m of the opinion that each watch speaks for itself, and the standard a model brings to a watch is impartial of fashion, cohesiveness, and even congruity. If a model desires to leap from uber-complicated watches to easy time-only items and again once more, why ought to I decide that it does or doesn’t make sense for the model?
Perhaps it made sense based mostly on workload or just the private pleasure of the watchmaker or designer. Or, probably, one watch was completed before one other, so why wait to disclose it?
This occurs greater than you suppose in product growth, so it doesn’t shock me when a watch model all of the sudden switches gears. It’s a fancy enterprise, and I’m not aware of all of the inside workings of every model. However from an out of doors perspective, I can nonetheless see a top-notch product being produced by gifted and passionate individuals.
The Chronomètre Contemporain is a darn superb watch, and coming from Akrivia I do know that it might compete with a few of the greatest names on the market.
It’s nonetheless early and we have now but to see how the brand new assortment will match throughout the bigger Akrivia construction, however one factor is definite: if future Rexhep Rexhepi Assortment items are as stable as this one, the model has one other profitable course to comply with.
I’m excited to see what comes subsequent, however that ought to come as no shock to you. I’m at all times enthusiastic about what’s going to come subsequent on the planet of watches.
So let’s break it down!
- Wowza Issue * 9.15 The wow comes from the sudden departure for the brand new assortment!
- Late Night time Lust Attraction * 88.eight » 870.831m/s2 Typically it’s the easy issues that preserve you lusting all night time!
- M.G.R. * 62.5 The implementation of Caliber RR-01 is high notch!
- Added-Functionitis * Gentle It’s technically time solely, but it surely does characteristic stop-seconds with zero-reset operate so I’ll give it a bit bump. Nonetheless, kids’s energy Gotta-HAVE-That cream might be all that’s wanted!
- Ouch Define * 10.6 Splitting a fingertip with a flat head screwdriver! Apart from the tiny slotted screws in watch actions, I actually dislike screws with the fundamental slot. They supply essentially the most danger for injury and harm out of all drive varieties. Nonetheless, I’d do it once more if it obtained me a Chronomètre Contemporain!
- Mermaid Second * First time setting the watch! A couple of moments setting the watch and admiring the fashion together with the zero-reset operate is all it takes to persuade you it ought to be a summer time ceremony!
- Superior Whole * 740 Multiply the diameter of the watch in millimeters (38) with the meters of water resistance (30) and divide the outcome by the variety of case steel choices there are (2), and eventually add the variety of elements within the motion (170) and the result’s a soundly superior whole!
For extra info, please go to www.akrivia.com.
Fast Info Akrivia Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain
Case: 38 x 9.5 mm, crimson gold or 950 platinum
Motion: handbook winding Caliber RR-01
Capabilities: hours, minutes, hacking seconds with zero reset operate
Worth: CHF 55,500 in crimson gold; CHF 58,000 in platinum
This text was first printed on September 2, 2018 at Akrivia Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain: A Fork In The Road, A Pivot, Or Something Else Entirely?